Bluebird Box Building

Little Boxes

Recently, Cody and I attended a meeting with PACT, a local chapter of the NC Wildlife Federation. The weekend following our first meeting was met with an opportunity to help build bluebird houses for a project that an ASU professor is conducting. The boxes will be placed in various locations so that she may gather information regarding reproductive behaviors. Current experiments indicate that the more colorful males are the ones who, to put it plainly, "get the girl". How the bluebird chooses a mate is one of the primary research interests. By taking them into a controlled environment they can manipulate the birds' colorings so they can gauge reactions to those changes. It's a little more in depth, but that was one major point I found quite interesting.

Wintry Weather

There were approximately 20 helpful people who came to the event despite the unfavorable, wintry weather conditions.

Little Boxes

In three hours we built a little over 100 bluebird boxes!

Poking Holes

As scary as it sounds, I used some power tools! Once Cody and I found our groove we were able to finish the boxes pretty quickly. I manned the drill while Cody held the pieces in place. We made for a great team and completed somewhere between 15-20 boxes. It was fun to help out and share, we enjoyed ourselves.

Wintry Mix

Being involved with PACT is something we look forward to continue doing.They are a group of likeminded people who can potentially raise awarness about issues affecting our environment. Those are definitely the types of induviduals I want to be associated with.

PACT stands for Protecting, Advocating, and Conserving Together.

Providing places for birds to raise their little ones will bring your yard one step closer to becoming a an environmentally friendly habitat. If you are interested in providing shelter for your birds to nest in there are many plans on the internet available for download. I found this bluebird nesting box plan by doing a google search. We're going to build some, too!

Beautiful Beginning

The Path

In a previous post way back when, I expressed my desire to return to my roots; my roots being my Filipino heritage. Going to the Philippines is something I would absolutely love to do, but the reality is that my current status just wouldn’t allow it. In an ideal world, I would take off an entire month to go so that I could fully immerse myself within the culture and spend time with the extended family that eagerly waits to meet me. You see, my Dad has 7 brothers and sisters who have children, which leaves me with a countless number of cousins who are also having babies now. At this rate, I’ll never be able to keep up! It is uncertain when my visit will take place, but I assure you that one day, I will go.


Until this dream is realized, I have fate to thank for bringing a wonderful opportunity to my life. I’ll give you some background: When I was about 12 or so, my Dad thought that it would be a great idea for me to become pen pals with one of my cousins. In the Philippines, English is their second language so we were able to communicate with no problem. We talked about all sorts of different things and also entertained the idea of one day meeting one another. As time passed, those lines of communication faded, although in recent years we ended up reconnecting via myspace. We didn’t talk very often, but we could if we wanted to. You all know how life gets in the way sometimes. And although I could feel guilty about not nurturing those avenues of communication, I won’t. Not because I don’t care, but because something even better was in store for us!

Something more amazing than I could have imagined in a million years......

She moved to the United States with her soon-to-be husband. Not only did she move to the United States, but she moved to Tennessee of all places. K, her fiancé, is from Kingsport, TN. GUESS WHAT!?!?! Kingsport is only 1.5 hours away from me!!!!!!!!!! I received an email from her with the shocking revelation about a week or so ago. Shortly after receiving the wonderful news, we quickly made plans to finally meet. Cody and I loaded up semi-early on Saturday morning to make the day trip. Since they live a short distance from Bays Mountain Park, I thought that a hike would be a good way of getting better acquainted. Despite their initial apprehension about doing a 2.3 mile hike we all enjoyed the weather, exercise, and especially the company. We are already planning our next outing!

Beautiful Beginning

Never in my wildest dreams did I think that one of my far-away relatives would be here in the states to visit me, much less move within a reasonable driving distance. It is still blowing my mind. We look forward to getting to know the both of them better, and I can't begin to tell you how thrilled I am to have this once in a lifetime opportunity. I will surely not let this go to waste.

I feel that this past weekend was the dawn of a beautiful beginning.

Animating Inspiration

Isn't this the most enchanting video EVAR! An example of creative genius at its finest.
I haven't heard of Oren Lavie before, but if all his songs are as whimsical as this one,
I might be inclined to have a listen to the rest of the album.
Either way, I had to share this video with you today.

Posted in Tuesday's Tribute

Also, I just wanted to mention that as of yesterday I have sold 6 mini print trios, which means that $4.20 is what will currently go to NAPPC to fund research for Colony Collapse Disorder.
If you missed the post on CCD, I urge you to read more about the deadly epidemic that
is killing our honeybees. BEE INVOLVED!

Bee Involved {A Campaign}

Busy Bee

Did you know that pollinators are necessary for the reproduction of 90% of our flowering plants and that nearly one third of the human diet comes from insect-pollinated plants?

The US department of Agriculture states that the honeybee is responsible for nearly 80% of that pollination. A common misconception is that honeybees only produce honey when in fact they pollinate more than 90 different varieties of the most flavorful flowering crops we have. To name a few, blueberries, broccoli, apples, almonds, avocados, soybeans, celery, cucumbers, peaches, cherries, cranberries, and strawberries. Without the "busy bees" these crops and many others are not able to grow.
A congressional study estimates that honeybees add almost $15 billion dollars a year in value to our food supply.
Unfortunately, the number of bee populations are on the decline. They are severly being threatened by a multitude of factors including, habitat loss, disease, and the excessive and inappropriate use of pestisides. Scienctist have yet to pinpoint a singular culprit in this myterious, bee disappearing phenomenon, but rest assured that many theories are currently being explored. In the interim, this complex combination of elements have been given a name, Colony Collapse Disorder or CCD.

Because bees play a pivotal role in providing us with a wide array of foods, they have become essential to producing most of what ends up on our plates. Without the bees, our favorite fruits and veggies, chock full o' vitamins, may become scarce and almost impossible to obtain.

"If bees continue to disappear at the current rate the honeybee population in the United States will cease to exist by the year 2035"

Protecting our honeybees is crucial and you can "bee involved".
By taking steps to help the pollinator populations flourish we can support their need for habitat while supporting our own needs for food and at the same time diversity in natural ecosystems. Making a difference to both pollinators and the people that rely upon them can be as easy as adding local and native plants to your landscape that offer food and shelter for pollinators throughout their active seasons. To help you get started, offers some very in depth planting guides according to your region. It's as easy a punching in your zip code!

Bee on a Daisy

Learning about bees and other pollinators can teach us more about the important role they play in our environment. And I strongly encourage you to take some time to do so, especially if this is the first you are hearing about Colony Collapse Disorder. Recently, Cody and I watched a PBS documentary called, "Silence of the Bees" and it really opened my eyes to the potential devastation that this can cause. If you also want to be fully informed I recommend taking some time to watch that fascinating episode--you won't be sorry.

Here is a clip. Follow the above link to see the full episode.

Increasing awareness about this unexplained reality is hugely important to me and I thought that there was no better time to do it than before spring hits. It gives you plenty of time to do a little independent research in helping to create and maintain pollinator friendly landscapes in and around your own homes. Cody and I are really lucky in the sense that our yard and surrounding valley is already a lush landscape of biodiversity. Throughout the year, flowers and fruits thrive in ways that continue to amaze and captivate me. I know not everyone is as blessed to live in such an environment, but it is possible to establish pollinator friendly plants in pots given you have some sort of outdoor space available. You're all creative individuals, I'm betting that you can come up with something!

Since this has been in the forefront of my mind for quite some time, I have decided to donate 10% of every mini print trio ordered to NAPPC to help fund research for Colony Collapse Disorder. Living without honeybees is not something I want to imagine, and I hope that you will feel the same.

Mini Print Trio
click on photo to go to my etsy shop.

The {Spring Fever} Mini Print Trio

This past weekend I took on a little project.
It involved quite a bit more time than what I initially thought it would take.
The perfectionist in me was particularly insatiable which is no surprise.
Thankfully, I was able to work out all of the bugs by Sunday.

I know we're all feeling a bit "feverish" right now. Ready for flip flops and tank tops.
During my haze something sparked the inspiration for this debut.

"The {Spring Fever} Mini Print Trio"

Mini Print Trio {Spring Fever}

and after many hours with the computer and printer.....

here is what they look like packed up.....
New Listing ~Mini Print Trio~

Gotta have your own?! Wanna get more details?!
Etsy Shop Listing

I've Got A Fever!?!?

Daffodil Dreams

It's spring fever. That is what the name of it is.
And when you've got it, you want - oh, you don't quite know what it is you do want,
but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!
~Mark Twain~

We are in the home stretch.
In a little over a month, the signs of spring will be plentiful.
I am eagerly awaiting that joyous occasion! Until then, I'll just self-medicate;
these roadside daffodils should do the trick.

Posted in Today's Flowers

Where Wonder Collides

Wonder Collides

The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.
One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity,
of life, of the marvelous structure of reality.
~Albert Einstein~

If you've been around WW for a while, then you might recognize this photo. If not, the above photo is a TtV shot I took sometime last year. The abandoned barn in the field next to our house is accompanied by this wicked willow tree. On the day I took this photo using the TtV method, it was extremely foggy. In my opinion it really added to the nostalgic feeling that this photo oozes.

So, why in the heck am I reposting a photo that I have already shared?! Well, this photo was one I entered in this years Appalachian Mountain Photography Competition. The good news is that it was a winner chosen to be in the exhibit with 46 other photographs! I am really looking forward to this years reception. The deadline for getting a matted and framed print is at the end of this month, thankfully, I'm already covered! Last year, the whole framing deal freaked me out, but since going through the process once, I'm not worried this go round. Two competitions in one year so far.....I'd say that I'm off to a pretty good start!!! As TD would say, WOOT-WOOT!!

Voting for people's choice award has not yet opened,
but I will be sure to let you know when it does!

  • What the heck is TtV? Well, I wrote an article once: here.
  • A list of all finalists can be found, here.
  • My photos that were selected last year can be found, here.
  • The other competition was NC Wildlife Magazine, here.
  • Posted in Photostory Friday & Hooked On.

Hope is like *Magic*

Hope is like *Magic*

The moment one gives close attention to any thing, even a blade of grass it becomes
a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself.
~Henry Miller~

At the moment I am focusing on being more conscious of happenings.
So far, I have discovered some fascinating things!
{see above photo}

What are you noticing?
please share

Amongst the Chaos

Making Frames

Weekend Notes
  1. Frames Finished: 5
  2. Need: Eco-Friendly Glass Cleaner
  3. Order Prints for completed frames
  4. I am enjoying this book: Blue Highways: A Journey into America
  5. We took a brisk photowalk on Saturday afternoon, the temperature was 61!
  6. Friday we visited local shops and dropped off Valentine Cards to sell!
  7. Saturday we got ready to go out, but ended up just staying home. Next time.
  8. I have been gathering images for my vision board and tonight I started laying it out. Hopefully, I will finish it tomorrow.
  9. Also, have you noticed the FREE desktop background over on the side bar?!
I feel like we had a productive yet laid back weekend.
How was yours?

Carrying the Weight of it All

Hope: Is in carrying the weight of it all
Hope: Is in carrying the weight of it all

Endure the Darkness
The load will lessen with time
Resilient Spirit

If you can go through life without experiencing pain you probably haven’t been born yet.
~Neil Simon~

Literally and figuratively these words speak so much truth to me this week.
To say the least it has been a rather trying one for me to get through. My poor neck has been on the fritz for the past few days. Although when I feel like I have reached the edge I hear a whisper that tells me to keep on going. That this pain doesn't define my life. I have the power to overcome what I feel like is trying to take its grubby hold. I am confident that the buoyancy of my soul will prevail.

I chose this image because when I look at it, it makes me feel as though I, too, can carry the lofty load bestowed upon me. That when its time to bear the burden I am fully equipped to do so. However, I do get a lot of help from Cody. He is truly a godsend in my life. I really don't know what I would do without him (you). Thank you for sticking by me when I am not so sunny, I know it ain't easy :o)

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and that your loads are
particularly light in the coming days.

'Hope' for Snow

'Hope' for Snow

unforeseen delight
the anticipation builds
wayward reverie

I didn't want to choose just any word for the Shutter Sisters' One Word Project.
I couldn't even determine if I would participate due to the fact that I couldn't commit to a word.
I wanted to all-of-a-sudden have an ah-ha! moment that would
signal a correlation between my heart, mind, and eye.
Like a ton of bricks, it HIT me.....the perfect word.


If there is anything I am putting all my faith into, it is H O P E.
H O P E for me, you, us, we, them, everyone...
the future...but more importantly...
S N O W!

Golden Boundary

Golden Boundary

“Throw your heart over the fence and the rest will follow”

Norman Vincent Peale

The anniversary in which I spoke of in my last post is connected to my neck surgery. Saturday, Jan 31st marked two years since I had 3 discs removed from my neck. I can tell you that my healing is far from over because I continue to struggle with pain every single day. Luckily, some days are better than others. I know I don't expose my daily issues with you on a regular basis, but I think that this passing is worth acknowledging.

After deciding that my anniversary wasn't going to be spent focusing upon where I have been, but upon where I wanted to go, I needed to find some inspiration. Something that would propel me out of this funky-dunk I have been in. What better way to do so than to take steps in the direction of where I hope to be. I have been thinking a lot about my photography and who I am as a photographer. More importantly, I have been giving much thought to where I want it to take me.

So far, I've had some great things happen for me in terms of photography and believe me, I am eternally grateful, but I want to go beyond what I have become comfortable with. It's easy to enter photos in a contest, but what about really putting yourself out there? That's what I aim to do.....put myself out there! And what better place to start than in my very own community. It's not that I haven't given thought to it before, but back then I wasn't fully equipped to follow through with such notions. But I'm ready now!

Cody and I spent Saturday galavanting around town visitng local galleries and shops. Galleries and shops where I could potentially sell my offerings. I mainly wanted to see what else was out there and whether or not I could compete. I determined that I could and that I would. Even though I wasn't prepared to show them anything, we couldn't resist talking to the owners/shopkeepers about how to go about doing so. We did, however, spend this weekend getting some things ready so I can return prepared. This is something that will benefit the both of us. Cody can make the frames and I can take the pictures! We are the perfect combo :o)

I don't think that I have to tell you that I was beaming after such positive encounters, but it really did feel good to just do it! I should be more proactive in "putting myself out there" without fear of being rejected because it's gonna happen no matter what. It's better than not doing anything at all!!


I really can't thank you enough for the boundless encouragement and support this wonderful community creates. I truly feel lucky to have folks like you to share and draw inspiration from.
Thank you.

If you're interested (links):